100 Hikes in the San Francisco Bay Area, by Marc J. Soares (The Mountaineers Books, 2001, 239 pages, $15.95) has something for everyone, from the novice to the serious hiker. Organized into seven regions, the guide offers trail distance, estimated … Read more
Camping and Backpacking | Climbing | Gardening | Kids and Nature | Paddling | Point Reyes Walkabout | Trails
Book Review: Pacific High: Adventures in the Coast Ranges from Baja to Alaska
by Tim Palmer Island Press, 2002 468 pages, $28 So often in literature, mountains have served as backdrop—a sturdy, all-purpose scene-setter. But in Tim Palmer’s Pacific High, the mountains don’t just provide scenery. They’re the main characters. Chronicling his nine-month … Read more
Star Gazing and Night Hiking Resources
To See the Stars Well do I know that I am mortal and a creature of one day;but when my mind follows the massed wheeling circles of the stars,my feet no longer touch the earth…—Ptolemy, epigram to the Almagest Observatories … Read more
Ring Around the Bay
San Francisco Bay is our largest open space, yet much of its shoreline has long been off-limits. Twelve years ago, the Bay Trail Project set out to change all that by creating a 400-mile ring of multiuse paths around the Bay. Now half complete, the Bay Trail is fulfilling its promise of increased access to the expansive vistas, rich wildlife habitats, and recreational opportunities of this incomparable estuary.
The Call of the Rails
The Bay Trail through the Palo Alto Baylands is among the best places to see the endangered California clapper rail and multitudes of other shorebirds.
Book Review: The Habitat Garden Book: Wildlife Landscaping for the San Francisco Bay Region
by Nancy BauerCoyote Ridge Press, 200156 pages, $14.95(707) 829-3910 In The Habitat Garden Book, Nancy Bauer deftly paints her philosophy: gardening for wildlife by creating habitats. Most books give instructions for attracting one type of critter at a time, usually … Read more
Why are Banana Slugs so Slimy?
Back when I used to teach children about nature, I often relied on a “hook” to keep them focused. Slapping myself with stinging nettle was a great attention grabber, but banana slugs worked just as well and didn’t hurt as … Read more
The Gardener and the Quail
Years ago, there was a quail refuge on the outskirts of the town of Bolinas. Seeking to restore her yard to the coastal prairie it used to be, Bolinas writer Judith Lowry decided to shape her garden to meet the quail’s habitat needs. In the process, she discovered how a covey of quail can stitch together a sometimes fractious neighborhood.
Car Free on Mount Tam
Mount Tam’s Steep Ravine and Dipsea trails take you from conifer forest to open slopes to sandy beach. And, best of all, when you take the bus and not your car, you don’t have to walk back uphill afterwards.
Rush Ranch Protects One of the Few Remnants of Estuarine Marsh in the Bay Area
On the edge of the tidal marsh fringing Suisun Slough, a streaky dark-brown sparrow gleans seeds of tules and other rushes from the exposed mud. A shadow passes: a northern harrier, cruising for mice. The sparrow vanishes into a tangle … Read more